Think twice the next time you click on a job posting online because you could end up losing money instead of making it. Job seekers between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely targets of job scams and fast-growing employment frauds.
Amanda Paremain, 55, was elated when her very first online job application resulted in an offer during the pandemic.
One thing, however, struck him as strange. “I hadn’t even done a Zoom interview or spoken to anyone on the phone.”
The job site asked Amanda, from Birmingham, to enter her National Insurance Number and click on a link to perform a standard DBS Criminal Record Check.
He asked for a fee of several hundred pounds, and that’s when she realized it was a scam.
It was a close call, but others may not get that chance and fall victim to it, Amanda said. “The crooks know that there are people out there who are desperate for work, so they go after them, counting on them to take any job that comes their way.”
Job application fraud comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes scammers advertise ‘dream jobs’, roles with a starting salary of £ 50,000 or even £ 100,000 that require few qualifications, skills or experience.
People desperate for work are easily fooled. A survey conducted by the Safer Jobs site showed that 98 percent of those surveyed would continue to apply even if they were suspicious of a job offer.
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Keith Rosser, president of worker protection site JobsAware, said bogus job scams often say no experience is needed, or offer very basic requirements to get the job.
“Beware of generalized job postings with vague details asking, for example, for an HR assistant or warehouse agent.”
Any employer who pushes you through the process and suddenly asks for money is almost certainly a con artist, Rosser added.
“Beware of any job posting or email correspondence that contains many grammatical errors and typos.”
Sami Ayubi, 44, was almost scammed after finding a job on social media saying he could work from home as customer service for £ 10 an hour.
The company said it could get started right away and directed it to a suspicious link, demanding payment.
Sami, a caregiver from Exeter, said the site looked authentic. “If I hadn’t been more careful, I might have cracked. I just hope others don’t.